Getting Control of the Wild Hog Scourge
Dr. John Woods 02.22.18
If you’re from Texas you will understand this more than most. Wild hogs are taking over this country. Talk about an invasion, but not one coming across the borders. These ever breeding Sounders of wild pigs are prolific at multiplying if not just plain ole perfectionists at reproduction. And we thought rabbits had that corner of the market. Bunnies are not even a close second.
One can hardly pick up a hunting or wildlife management report without hearing the scathing details of how the wild pigs are increasing in numbers and eating their way through vital wildlife habitats. Their hunger is so vast in some areas that research is now suggesting that the hogs are destroying critical habitat resources essential to the white-tailed deer. Now, that fact alone is starting to get people’s attention.
Wild hogs are hard to control. While hunting is one method of knocking back the numbers in some areas in limited numbers, it cannot keep up with the expansion. Even in areas where trapping is widely used, it is still not reducing numbers by any significance. Wild pigs are smart, cunning, and not easily fooled. They might fall to a trap once or twice, but they quickly learn to stay away from them, even if baited on a regular basis. The plight is a never ending battle.
There are many firearms of great utility against a wild pig. They are tough, have that awful thick grizzle plate of armor so no lightweight bullet is going to penetrate or do much harm. It seems consensus among many applied hog hunters is that at least a good 100 grain hunting bullet with maximum penetration performance is of minimal choice. I’d say more.
That being the case, then most deer hunting rifles of the usual calibers will do. Many hog shooters have taken to using AR-15s or clones or AR-10s. An AR-15 in .300 Blackout or 6.8 SPC are good choices. The .308 of course is a great choice for turning fresh pigs into bar-be-que. The 150 grain bullets ought to work havoc on a pig with the bullet sent to the right spot.
Too, many serious hog hunters have gone to night hunting with night vision and thermal imaging gear. This works well when Lady Luck is about. Hogs are peculiar in that they are amassed in one area one time, then totally gone the next. I spent a week in Center, Texas during a hog hunting rodeo of sorts and we never saw a solitary pig, not one. All we can do is keep after them. They are not going away easily.